muchen 牧辰

Career Planning Assignment

Updated 2019-06-30

Muchen He44638154 │ Term 5 │ Intel Corporation │ Vancouver

What is your desired career path post-graduation? Are there particular industries you are interested in or do you have a specific type of role in mind? What about the size of company? Does it align with your core values? Does this career path align with where you want to be in your career in 5-10 years?

My desired career path still derives from engineering involving software and electronics nonetheless. A few co-op terms have given me an idea of industry I want to a part of. In particular the video game industry or some other generic tech company like Microsoft or Apple, with more focus on the boundary between hardware and software, rather than pure algorithmic software.

The size of the company only matters when I consider potential benefits such as housing, food, health care, etc. as smaller startups do not often offer them. Otherwise, it is the size and dynamics of the team that really matters. I prefer a smaller team because it means the team is often more multi-disciplinary, more responsibility per individual, and more agile.

My core values consist of several aspects: health, diversity & inclusivity in the workplace, and the idea that what I’m doing is serving people in a net positive way (moral compass). Generally, the tech sector industries align with these values with the exception of privacy. I believe that privacy, especially recently, should be the top most priority – which is why I do not think Google, Facebook, and Amazon align with my core value. Further, I believe that the company should promote personal fitness, health, and mindfulness as it allows employees to be more productive.

Are you extroverted or introverted? How has this affected your work performance to date and how do you think this will impact the type of job you will seek in the future?

I am introverted. It will not affect me at all on a professional level. In fact, being introverted means I’m usually more observant. I am not hindered during the interview process. Being introverted will not affect jobs that I currently have done, which are mostly desk-jobs. Being introverted allows me to be introspective, and self-reflect better.

From work experience, I also perform well on oral presentations, meetings, and status reports. Therefore, I do not think being introverted will impact any of the jobs in the career I want to pursue.

Being introverted will affect my ability to create and maintain meaningful long-term friendship and networks. Since social activities such as small-talks, lunch time, and other outside-of-work social activities are my weak points.

Does the career path you are currently interested in offer a lot of room for personal challenge and skill development, as well as long-term career growth?

Yes, there’s always rooms to grow since software and electronics technology is one of the most volatile area of the tech industry.

For software, it is possible that the paradigm and practices, and standards could change as fast as two to three years.

What is the job security in this career or industry like for the next 5-10 years? Are there any major economic factors that might adversely affect job prospects in this field?

The job security for the tech industry depends on the job, technology, and skills. As long as I am always learning to learn and adapt to new technology, job security should not matter.

Job security would become an issue if I fixate only on my existing skills that uses technology which could become obsolete very quickly, and lack the agility to pivot along with the industry.

How relevant are you to your desired career path/industry at this time? Are your skills and experience in line with what the market is seeking, or is there additional training, self-directed learning, professional development opportunities you can seek out that would give you a competitive edge?

The current desired career path is very relevant. Innovations in this field is also very common. The skills and experience I’ve gained so far such as programming languages, design patterns, software development methodologies apply well across many companies. Often the product or service that the company offer is not as significant.

In addition, even though the skills and experiences I have so far will prepare me into getting a job upon graduation. Additional learning and training during my personal time will never stop. I will continue to take online courses and develop personal projects to expand the scope of what I know. Doing this opens more opportunities to try different positions and excel at interviews.

What kind of autonomy and control do you want over your career and day-to-day work? Will this impact the type of company you explore working for?

I prefer more control and self regulation over my career and day-to-day work. In my co-op term experiences, I had more room to learn and experiment when there is less overhead of productivity that I would get from working at a bigger corporation versus a start-up. Larger companies tend to have more bureaucracy, more meetings, that would affect productive. Usually this results in a development pace slower than what I prefer.

Therefore, it will impact the types of companies I seek. Luckily, many modern tech companies adopt the agile development methodologies.

Where are you willing to live? Think about the factors of an area that contribute to your personal long-term happiness such as access to outdoor areas, thriving nightlife, energetic culture, walkability or commute time, proximity to family, etc. Are the careers or industries you are interested in available in these type of areas?

The location of work is not an important issue if the job position is good enough. However, I would still prefer Vancouver or Edmonton. Here are the reasons:

Vancouver is one of the more environmental aware and socially progressive cities. Being gay, I think having a progressive city to live in contributes heavily towards one’s mental and social health.

My family lives in Edmonton, which means the avoidance of paying for rent if I decide to work there. The additional financial benefits could contribute towards my personal financial independence. Which ultimately opens up more opportunities worldwide for where I want to work. The downside is that Edmonton is not as progressive, and is also not a very walkable city. A city’s walkability is very important to me. it enables me to be physically active and live a better lifestyle. A case would be the two terms I worked in Edmonton. During the winter seasons, on numerous locations I was disinclined to go to work due to the icing conditions outside that made roads un-walkable.

What aspects of a potential career will contribute to your long-term job satisfaction, or in other words, what would make you happy to go in to work every day?

I believe that satisfaction comes from room for me to grow at work. I think job satisfaction comes from the solving the problems that I would get to face everyday. The motivation is lost if the tasks I am doing is simple, repetitive, or tedious. Therefore it is essential that the workplace allows me to expand scope of challenges and responsibilities.

Beyond that, I believe social aspect and the harmony and synergy within the team is also important. I would be disengaged and not perform well if the team members are toxic, not being transparent, or unclear in communication.